SIOUX CITY, Iowa – History has been made as the Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball team secured its first ever NAIA Division II Women's Basketball National Championship. DWU defeated Concordia University, 82-59 in the NAIA Division II Women's Basketball National Championship, presented by Mercy Medical Center and Seaboard Triumph Foods, Tuesday at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa.
Senior Chesney Nagel (Springfield, S.D.) gave the Tigers the first points of the game, going up 2-0. After the Bulldogs went on a 5-0 run, Amber Bray (Anoka, Minn.) notched a bucket, ending the Concordia run. Later in the first quarter, Rylie Osthus (De Smet, S.D.) gave the Tigers a 19-12 lead after nailing a 3-pointer. DWU took a 21-14 lead after the first quarter.
After a minute into the second quarter, Kynedi Cheeseman (Alexandria, S.D.) hit a 3-pointer followed by a Nagel three-point shot to give the Tigers a 33-19 lead. DWU finished the first half on a 14-0 run to give them a 40-19 lead heading to the break.
To begin the third quarter, Ashley Bray (Anoka, Minn.) drained back-to-back 3-pointers. A minute later, Madison Mathews (Draper, S.D.) knocked down a pair of three-point shots to extend the DWU lead to 52-26.
After a few minutes of play into the final stanza, Osthus found Ashley Bray wide open for a transition layup. The Tigers broke the Concordia press, after Osthus found Cheeseman, who then dished the basketball to Ashley Bray for an easy layup. Later, Nagel beat the shot clock with a running jump shot in the lane to help secure the first ever National Championship Banner in DWU women's basketball history.
Cheeseman was named the tournament Most Valuable Player with a 26-point performance in the championship game. Ashley Bray finished with 21 points and five rebounds, while Nagel finished with 12 points and seven rebounds. Amber Bray tallied four points and six rebounds. DWU shot 47 percent from the field and 48 percent from three-point range, while outrebounding the Bulldogs, 41-30.
The Tigers finish the season with an overall record of 32-6, tying the school record for most wins in a season. An updated press release will be released tomorrow with full details of the championship game.